We welcome dogs in the Dane County Park System at our eight off-leash dog parks and on-leash throughout the Dane County Park System. Explore the network of hard and natural surface trails and experience the highlights each park has to offer including a variety of terrain and habitats, river/lake access, play equipment and more. Many parks include a separate area just for small dogs. View locations and highlights in our Google Map of Dog Parks.
Dane County Parks is a national leader in the development of off-leash dog parks. We now have eight off-leash dog parks, totaling 268 acres, each with its own unique features and terrain. A permit is required in order to bring your dog to a dog park within the Cooperative Dog Park Program which includes: Dane County Parks, City of Madison Parks, City of Sun Prairie Parks and City of Middleton Parks. You must have a dog license from your municipality to purchase a Dane County Dog Permit. An Annual Dog Park Cleanup is held on the 1st Saturday in April each year.
Courtesy Steve Dahlgren
A dog permit also allows you to access all Dane County Park System lands for on-leash hikes with your dog with the following requirements and exceptions:
Campsite reservations in a campground include a complimentary daily dog permit good for the duration of the stay. A complimentary dog permit is not included in group camp reservations. Learn more about camping in Dane County Parks on our Camping webpage.
Dogs can be off-leash and do not require a dog permit in Dane County Wildlife Areas ONLY if they are actively being used for hunting during a designated Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Department (WDNR) hunting season. If not being used for hunting, dogs must have a valid dog permit and be leashed with a 6-foot static leash at all times.
During hunting season you and your dog should wear blaze orange. Visit our Park Use During Hunting Season webpage for more information.